Chevy Chase is off Community, effective immediately

While reports say that the decision was mutual, Chevy Chase has made a deal with NBC to leave Community and never come back. Chase had filmed the majority of the fourth season's episodes, but there is no word yet on how the absence of his character, Pierce Hawthorne, will be addressed. Everyone who enjoyed his voicemails and borderline racist behavior will miss him dearly. (via Deadline)



  1. Apparently it was mutual, so expect it to actually be a departure that makes some sort of sense, rather than just “OH NO, HE’S DEAD”, which it probably will be anyway.

  2. Hmmm… Announced right around the time a truce was brokered in the Middle East between Hamas & Israel. Connect the dots, people!

  3. Not sure why it’s news that Chevy is an a**hole.  Will Ferrell wrote that Chevy was one of the worst SNL guests during his tenure there.  Chevy was mean spirited, even slapped Cheri Oteri in the back of the head and then pretended it was a joke.  Watch the closing credits for that show (when the sax music plays and everyone makes nice)…the look on Will Ferrell’s face says it all. 

    1.  I was going to post something basically along the same lines as your post – What? Chevy Chase was acting like an asshole? Who knew? – but of course, you beat me to it. Well done.

    2.  Heck, he was an asshole back during the original cast run–he nearly started a fistfight with Bill Murray, his replacement on SNL. (Watch their one scene together in Caddyshack–which Harold Ramis convinced them to do almost literally at the last minute–in light of that.)

  4. Ok, I’ll bite… What’s “Community”?   Admittedly, I haven’t had regular TV for several years, but I do read the papers and the internets.  How come I’ve never even heard of this show? 

    1.  it’s one of about the three shows I watch.  It’s good even if you don’t like most TV.  “Remedial Chaos Theory” is a good episode to start with. 

    2. I don’t typically like American sitcoms. I love Community. This is a sitcom that is, well, better. It’s basically a variably surreal college trip. 

      If you want to watch it, the first three seasons are available via Hulu Plus. Each season has about 25 episodes, so it’s worth that whole $7/month fee for getting Hulu Plus if you’d been considering it. You’ll be busy for some time, and just catch up in time for February. :)
      P.S. You haven’t heard of it because it doesn’t appeal to lowest common denominator, and dumbing it down would kill it. NBC may have done that by opting to fire the show’s creator Dan Harmon (when he and Chase previously tangled) instead of just letting Chase go in the first place. That’s why people are asking if maybe they can get Harmon back now. I think he’d work with the other guys brought in to head the show – they were fans of his, and happy to jump in on a show they liked.

  5. Not surprising after his racist rants:

  6. To be fair to Chevy. He was angry about his characters overt racism. He said something to the effect: Am I going to be calling them n****rs next? That is a fair complaint.

    1. Yeah, I was going to point out that complaining about having to portray a racist character is not particularly racist. But logic isn’t much of a crowd-pleaser either.

    2.  No, you see, having a racist character for cheap laughs is hilarious.

      And if you don’t agree, YOU are a racist.

    3. I agree with Carl.  This “article” is very poorly stated.  And let’s not forget what a complete ass Dan Harmon was to him, in public.  They wanted him on the show for the ratings, but have treated him like a drunk uncle.  Unlike the “friends of Dan Harmon” club, I will miss him a lot.

    4.  Given that that’s how the character was written since the very first episode, that’s not a very rational complaint.

      1. I agree – especially since all the characters have taken turns getting “better” or “worse”. Joel McHale’s character, Jeff, has been nearly destroyed by his ego on more than one occasion. He hasn’t come off seeming more pleasant for that part of his personality – just more three-dimensional. Danny Pudi’s character, Abed, has literally lost touch with reality (even going stop motion once!) several times. It’s one of his character flaws, and the show bothers to explore it in depth.

  7. I’m reading Roger Lewis’s “The Life and Death of Peter Sellers” (1993), & it sounds to me that Chevy’s channeling Mr. Sellers with extraordinary ease.  He’s been like this on SNL when he’s gone back there, so I don’t see why everyone’s surprised…when a gay cast member asked if he could do anything for Chevy, he said, “You can lick my balls.”  (From “Live From New York”, 2002).

    1. I think I understand where you’re coming from with that comment, that they were/are both difficult to work with, but, I think we can contrast them as well.

      Peter Sellers disappeared into his roles. I think it’s from the book you mentioned that Sellers himself told an interviewer: “I don’t really have any personality of my own. There used to be a me behind the mask, but I had it surgically removed. I don’t know, if I didn’t have characters like Clouseau, I don’t know who I’d be.” He appeared to come from a place of deep self-doubt.

      I grew up in the 70s, and watching Chevy’s work, he has always had the opposite problem- no matter what character he plays he’s still Chevy Chase reading lines, but still being Chevy Chase. In the 70s and 80s that was cool, because we thought Chevy was cool, but, like that older brother of a friend that you thought was so cool when you were all younger, it turns out he might have been just mean and arrogant all along.

  8. I actually enjoy Community, but as far as characters go, it’s not like everything else. In a lot of ways the characters are underdeveloped. The character, Pearse, is totally unrelatable,  and the only character more neglected as far as plot goes is Shirley.

    However, that’s not actually as important as it sounds, because the show is deliberately absurd.

    There are entire episodes of the show that are completely flat though, most typically the ones that have singing in them. It’s not consistent at all. If Chevy Chase wants to make a good name for himself, playing Pearse in Community really isn’t the right way to do it.

    I don’t really care if he’s an asshole, as far as I can see all he’s done is piss people off. These thespians need to get over themselves. They’d probably sell their mothers to act in a Roman Polanski flick, and that fucker raped a kid.

    1.  I don’t think irony is the right word, but it’s odd that you would use the Polanski controversy to make your point, given what Samantha Geimer, the minor in question, has said herself:

      “During a television interview on 10 March 2011, Geimer blamed the media, reporters, the court, and the judge for causing ‘way more damage to [her] and her family than anything Roman Polanski has ever done,’ and stated that the judge was using her and a noted celebrity for his own personal gain from the media exposure.”
      — Roman Polanski. (2012, November 22). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 11:59, November 22, 2012, from

      1.  She wants to get on with her life and is sick of being known as the girl he raped. That’s her right. It doesn’t vindicate him in any way.

        It’s just a personal opinion, but for me, what he did, any time someone works with him, I’m alienated by them forever. If he’d served his time, that’d be one thing, but he’s unrepentant.

        1.  This, so much. It astonishes and saddens me that people are willing to take the statement of someone who obviously just doesn’t want to talk about it any more to excuse the inexcusable.

  9. I think the best idea I’ve heard so far about this, is to have Bill Murray replace him in much the same manner that Bill replaced Chevy on SNL.  A “soap opera” style voice over like “The role of Pierce Hawthorne will now be played by Bill Murray” would be cool too.

    1. I would tattoo a peacock and the words “NBC 4 EVA (peron)” on my forehead if they did that.  

      I can’t imagine them making such a wise decision, though.  A “Kutcher-Sheen” or “fecal quid-pro-quo” seems more likely.

    2.  What I wouldn’t give to see that. Unfortunately, it’s kind of unlikely that Murray would sign on to a regular gig; he’s notoriously lackadaisical about his career (he doesn’t have an agent; instead, he has a voicemail box that he checks sporadically.) Having him step in for even one episode would be sweet, though.

  10. “Borderline racist behaviour”?

    Complaining about your character becoming more bigoted (because you don’t want him to be) is racist now?

    Ah! Sorry … any white person who used the N word is suspect. Regardless of the context. Got it.

    Over here in the UK (albeit the land of un-free speech, compared to the US) a comedian won a libel case for just such a ludicrous and untrue insinuation.

  11. Complete BS. He protests the racist behavior that he’s being told to portray and all the fish-headed reactionaries go out of their way to completely miss the point and brand him a racist. People make my brain tired.

  12. “The other part of the disconnect is obviously, you don’t get my humor at all, or what it is I do that’s funny, that actually makes people laugh,” Chase says, to which Harmon casually responds, “That’s true.”

    Now that’s comedy gold.

  13. The very first episode of the second season, Pierce’s first joke is in response to Troy (who is black). Troy is living at Pierce’s home and expresses how cool that is. 

    Pierce:”I know! It’s like Batman and Shaft.”

    Troy: “Batman actually had a guy, his name was Robin.”

    Pierce: “Troy, Batman’s friend didn’t have to be Robin. It could have been Shaft, Dolomite, Leroy Brown. Don’t let society limit your people.”

    (For people who don’t watch the show. The next thing you see is other friends laughing at what Pierce has just said because Troy has Twittered it. The joke doesn’t end as a stand alone, but sits in context.)

    So Pierce recites a series of Blacksploitation names and “your people” in one joke – but he’s not racist. Pierce’s character has always been mildly racist in that he has acknowledged race and made some disparagingly thoughtless, but not intentionally cruel, comments about it.

    Community hasn’t ignored this on the whole. There’s even an episode that discussed how trying not to be racist can be interpreted as being racist (if you notice race, and are showing care because of it, are you being racist?) and it results in the “ethnically neutral” school mascot. (Football, Feminism, and You 1.06)

    Chase has known all along this was his character’s identity, and the show turns up the volume on character flaws (ego, inability to deal with reality, jealousy) all the time. So for Chase to freak out over this is really foolish. It seems like he just felt it was a great excuse to leave.

  14. I second “I just wanna see Community back on the air.” IMO, it’s the most modern, relatable t.v. show in a loooooong time. Absurd, yes, but look around you people, read the other BB links above this article. We’re swimming in a sea of Absurdity! Community was the smartest, funniest reflection in the pond of American pop culture.

  15. The only proper way to swap out Peirce, is to throw in Dan Ackroid, or Bill Murry, or anybody on the same level, but have only Abed notice, a Rosanne ‘”They say she’s the same, but she’s not the same.”-DJ’ kind of thing. Hell they could even keep swapping in various different actors, with only Abed noticing, the rest of the group being oblivious.

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